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Category Archives: Industry News

InComm to Continue the Sale of Gift Card Products in All New Jersey Stores

    Sunday, 01 July 2012 InComm, a leading prepaid product and transaction services company, announced today it plans to continue the sale of its Vanilla-branded Visa® and MasterCard® gift cards, as well as its retail branded gift card mall program in New Jersey.

    InComm had previously announced its plans to withdraw these programs from New Jersey retail locations because of the detrimental economic impact to businesses and consumers created by the 2010 modifications to New Jersey’s unclaimed property law. Now, however, as a result of the new bill signed into law this week amending New Jersey’s unclaimed property and consumer protection statutes, InComm will continue offering these programs in New Jersey retail locations for the immediate future. In addition to implementing a four-year moratorium on the law’s previous data collection requirement, the new bill protects consumers by eliminating expiration dates and post-purchase fees on gift cards sold in New Jersey.

    “We plan to continue selling gift cards in New Jersey indefinitely as long as there is no requirement to collect consumer data at the point of sale,” said Brooks Smith, President and CEO of InComm. “That new bill signed into law places a moratorium on the collection of consumer data for four years, which would expire in 2016. InComm intends to spend the next four years working to have any such data collection requirement permanently removed from the law. In the end, the data collection requirement negatively impacts all gift card issuers as well as New Jersey businesses and consumers, and we are hopeful that our continued efforts will result in further improvements to the law and continued protection for consumers.”

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    Measure to stop N.J. from seizing value of unused gift cards advances

      TRENTON — The Assembly Budget Committee today advanced a bill that would postpone the state’s ability to claim the value of unused gift cards for at least four years. The bill (A3045), approved 12-0, was amended to include stronger consumer protections, such as prohibiting gift cards from expiring and allowing those worth $5 or less

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      New Jersey Law Causes Companies To Pull Gift Cards

        American Express and two other companies say they’re pulling gift cards off store shelves in New Jersey because of a law requiring merchants to collect zip codes from card buyers. Retailers have sued to block the law, which allows the state to take control of unused balances after two years.

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        STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

        At some point, you likely received a present from a prepaid gift card from the person who wasn’t exactly sure what you’d want. Residents of New Jersey may not be able to buy them for much longer. American Express has pulled its gift cards from the state, and other big industry players are threatening to do the same. They oppose a new law that would allow New Jersey to claim unused gift card balances after two years. NPR’s Joel Rose reports.

        JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Think about the Home Depot card floating around in your junk drawer, and that iTunes card in your wallet. Maybe you’ve got a few unspent dollars here, five dollars there. Add it up, and you’re looking at real money. And the state of New Jersey would be happy to be hold onto it for you.

        ANDY PRATT: If you never use that card, the value of that card is lost. The retailer doesn’t go back, find you, say, look. You know, it’s been five years since you’ve bought this card. Would you like your money back?

        ROSE: Andy Pratt is a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. He says a state law passed in 2010 will protect consumers by forcing gift card companies to hand over those unspent balances if the card has been inactive for two years.

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        NJ lawmakers may scrap troubled gift card law

          A legislative panel is expected on Thursday to consider legislation reversing a 2010 law that allowed the state to claim the value of dormant gift cards as revenue.

          The Senate Budget Committee will vote on whether to remove gift cards from the state’s unclaimed property law. The bill also would prohibit retailers from charging dormancy fees on idle cards or imposing expiration dates on their use, two consumer protection features the industry supports, according to Retail Merchants Association spokesman John Holub.

          Under budget legislation signed into law two years ago, the state can lay claim to gift cards that go unused for two years. The law requires gift card sellers to obtain ZIP codes from buyers so the state can claim the value of the cards. Without such information, the value of unused cards reverts to the company or to the state in which the company is incorporated.

          New Jersey projected $65 million in revenue from unused cards, travelers checks and money orders the first year the law was expanded, but retailers sued and the law has stalled. The bill being considered Thursday would ensure it isn’t implemented.

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          NJ Senate may scrap troubled gift card law

            June 21, 2012 3:25 PM NJ Senate may scrap troubled gift card law   TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey’s Senate Budget Committee will take a vote Thursday on reversing a 2-year-old law that allows the state to claim the value of dormant gift cards. The measure was delayed last month so consumer protections could be

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            Plastic Jungle Receives Strategic Investment From Citi Ventures Funding From Citigroup Unit Will Accelerate Bringing Liquidity to Gift Card Economy

              SAN MATEO, CA, Jan 18, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Plastic Jungle, the web’s largest secured gift card exchange, today announced that Citi Ventures, a unit of the global financial services company Citigroup, has made a strategic investment in Plastic Jungle. Plastic Jungle brings liquidity to the secondary gift card market by allowing people to

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